I’ve been thinking a lot about maturity lately. What it means. How I define it. How people live it. How people react to it. The stunning lack of it. Not just in kids. Adults too. When did maturity and adult become dirty words? When did it become the norm to give into back-biting and lying? Where did the consideration of others go?
I’m not even talking about politics. Don’t get me started on that! I’m talking about our community. The people you encounter every day. Neighbors, friends, co-workers, cashiers, strangers. Hold a door, grab a coffee, smile. Minimum stuff. Most of us do it. Contribute to the well-being of others in our personal worlds. But not all of us and not all the time. It’s really petty and more than a little ridiculous. Make an effort to make a difference. Be mature. Grown-up.
Make a mistake, apologize. Don’t ruin it with an excuse. Suck it up. Learn from it. Let your mistake inform your future actions. Pat and I try to parent by example. Being mature and grown-up does not come easily to me so; I guess you can say my children are making me a better person. I hate when that happens.
Mostly I’ve been thinking about it in relation to my son, Dylan. Recently he’s shown a tremendous amount of personal growth. I’m starting to see signs of the man he’ll be. Honestly, I kind of like what I’m seeing. He’s a good kid: smart, funny, talented. A little jinxed.
Anyone that knows my family has heard the epic adventure of Dylan and his knees. He’s coming off his second knee surgery in less than a year. 10 months to be exact. He can see the end – June 8th. That’s the clearance date. Fingers-crossed. 8 months after tearing his ACL during football practice and 6 months after the surgery to repair it, the end is in sight. And he’s getting impatient. Really impatient.
It’s been difficult for him to rein it in these past few weeks. He finished active physical therapy and has his sports brace. He feels great and he’s itching to play his favorite game – lacrosse. He’s missing his freshman season. He’s the team manager for Plymouth North (go Eagles!) and he gets to warm up the goalies and take light practice with the team. It’s a pale comparison to how he expected to be spending his inaugural season at the high school.
That’s where his burgeoning maturity steps in. He goes to every practice and game. The only practices he missed were due to physical therapy or doctor appointments. He goes around and picks up balls; he hauls equipment and water from the parking lot; he does whatever is necessary. For the team. His team. A team he dreamt about playing on. A dream deferred at least until next year.
We’ve talked a lot about a larger lesson in all his knee drama. About the impact it had on his life and will have on his future. I hope it will make him more compassionate and mature. He hopes he’ll be able to play college lacrosse.
I hope we’re both right.